February 14, 2012
Posted by Joan V. Gallos
A respected colleague (and my former professor) Richard J. Light (Carl H. Pforzheimer Jr. Professor of Teaching and Learning at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and author of the book “Making the Most of College”) names five things that successful people say they need to advance their work and careers in today’s global world.
1. the ability to synthesize information
2. the skill of writing extraordinarily well
3. the ability to do research on many different topics
4. the ability to speak at least one foreign language
5. an understanding of other cultures.
I think Light’s got it about right. How do you measure on each? What are you doing to enhance your capacities in areas where you need to grow?
In talking with executives recently who wanted to know where to begin in taking their education and executive development to the next level, I made a simple suggestion: read, read, read.
Cognitive development is guaranteed – and you’ll increase your reading speed and comprehension with every page. Seeing your progress on both is satisfying, as our Executive MBA students can attest. You have control over the delivery system and focus of the content – read when you can and what you want. And continuing to form new neuronal circuits are vital as we age and for responding to an increasingly complex world.
Want a good suggestion for your next good read? I suggest: America and the Crisis of Global Power by Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter. It’s a book you won’t want to put down – and probably shouldn’t. [Here’s a review to give you a sense of the reasons why.]